Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's roots reach back to the 1930s when Northern Piedmont Electric Cooperative (NPEC) and Virginia Electric Cooperative (VEC) were founded. NPEC merged with VEC to form REC in 1980. What was the NPEC office is now REC’s Culpeper office.
Director of Member Services & Community Relations Jeff Henry works out of the Culpeper office with a team of 81 employees, 13 of which are in member services. They’re on the larger end of energy cooperatives, but they have small-town interests.
“Our employees live in the communities we serve, and it shows,” Henry said. Their best measure of member satisfaction was when they received a JD Power score of 796, ranking them 16th amongst all utilities in 2021.
The old company can still learn new tricks, such as with electric vehicles. As EVs gain popularity, REC has responded to the higher energy needs with innovative energy usage solutions. They’ve developed a Vividly Brighter Charging solution for EV owners to charge outside of peak hours–keeping costs down and distributing the load on REC’s transformers.
“We have made some smart investments in technology which have helped to control our distribution expenses,” Henry said. Their technology increases accessibility and transparency for members.
Their Advanced Metering Infrastructure reads energy meters through the power lines instead of dispensing people to read them. Their Affordable Energy Efficiency program offers home upgrades that can be paid back through a member’s energy bill. Both solutions save money all around.
Even with uncontrollable factors such as rising energy prices, “we help our members by providing programs and education to help use energy as wisely as possible,” Henry said.
“We are owned and governed by our members. If there’s something you believe we should be doing, let us know,” he encouraged. “It’s not uncommon to see REC represented at community events or civic group meetings.”
“Even though the industry continues to change over the years, our core values have remained the same,” Henry said. “We are not just here for a job.
We are here because we genuinely want to serve.”
13252 Cedar Run Church Rd., Culpeper • 540-825-8373 • myrec.coop